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Mets have no plans for catching platoon

Mets have no plans for catching platoon

NEW YORK -- Brian Schneider needed only minutes to make his mark on Thursday, blocking home plate on a potential sacrifice fly and preventing Los Angeles' Juan Pierre from scoring. That's a significant reason why he's valuable to these Mets.

And it's a significant reason why the team isn't about to platoon him with backup catcher Ramon Castro -- despite some tempting reasons to do just that.

"That could eventually happen," manager Willie Randolph said. "But I'm not ready to do that yet because I think that Brian, when he catches, is more of an asset to us than worrying about his offense. We like what he does behind the plate, and that, to me, is first and foremost on our team."

That's why the Mets traded for Schneider, and that's why they'll continue to play him -- no matter what. But offense, too, is part of the game, and Schneider entered Thursday's play hitting only .207 in May. Against left-handers this season, he was hitting .225.

Castro, meanwhile, has returned from the disabled list to hit .333 in 18 at-bats, and he has hit 35 points higher against left-handers than right-handers in his career.

That's a recipe for a platoon, if not a complete justification.

"If we're struggling offensively, yeah, we'll need to add a little offense," Randolph said. "But if we're swinging the bats, I'd like to give Brian most of the reps, because he does a really good job behind the plate with the game plan."

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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